Gleaning Project

Interested in gaining experience with non-profit work and community organizing? Volunteer to be a Gleaning Outreach Advocate!

What is Gleaning?
Gleaning is harvesting produce left over in fields and gardens after the main harvest. For centuries, “field gleaning” has been a vital source of food for people in poverty. Gleaning programs are becoming more popular ways to provide local, healthy produce to food banks around the country.

Why Glean?
Cut Waste in a country where over 25% of commercially-grown food goes to waste every year.

Feed People with the bounty of the county. Clients at Pierce county food banks rose by nearly 46% from 2008-2010.

Each month Pierce County food banks and hot meal sites accommodate 147,000 client visits. The Pierce County Gleaning Project helps meet this need and build community by recruiting volunteers to harvest local produce that would otherwisebe wasted for county food banks and hot meal sites. You can help us harvest more in a variety of ways:

Neighborhood Fruit Tree Harvest
Coordinator: need 5 individuals to help organize harvests in Tacoma, University Place/Fircrest, and other communities. Duties include: checking fruit 1-2 weeks before harvest, contacting volunteers in your area to recruit enough for each week’s harvest, etc.

Harvester: attend one harvest training in the summer; get updates from neighborhood coordinator about which trees need to be harvested.

Tree Donor: register your fruit tree for gleaning.

Plant a Row
Community Garden Leaders: encourage others to plant an extra row and schedule work parties to glean excess for food banks.

Plant an Extra Row in your garden: seeds at Pierce County Reads events; starts at Community Garden events Farm Gleaning.

Farmer’s Market Produce Rescue: give farmers boxes to fill with excess produce at the end of farmer’s markets each week for Tacoma (6th Ave, Broadway, South), Puyallup, Orting, Steilacoom and other communities of interest. Deliver boxes to your nearest food bank.

Harvester: sign up to get updates about farm gleaning events as we set them up with farmers and come out to harvest the bounty of the county with us!

Learn more about the Pierce County Gleaning Project at